Standard Bearer Clark Instrumental in Helping Lady Bulldogs Establish a Quality Hockey Program

December 20, 2011
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Mackenzie Clark may produce a Lynn first one day: she could be inducted in to two high school Halls of Fame.

Clark, a senior at Lynn English, is the Lady Bulldogs hockey program’s all-time leading scorer and captain. She is off to a sizzling start this season, most recently netting a goal and two assists in her team’s 6-2 victory over Marblehead/Swampscott on Sunday, which was her 19th birthday.

Because of Lynn English’s cooperative arrangement with Winthrop High School, Clark is playing almost all of her home games at Larsen Rink in Winthrop. And the prolific 5-feet-3-inch center has had such an impact on the program and is so well respected by her teammates, many feel she should get the call to the hall in Winthrop a few years from now.

“Mackenzie is the heart and soul of our team,” said head coach Anthony Martucci, a Winthrop alumnus whose program skates players from Winthrop, Lynn, and Saugus. “The Winthrop girls love her and respect the way she plays the game. She was an assistant captain for two years and this year she was promoted to captain. She’s earned the ‘C’ on her jersey – she’s a great leader who works hard in practice and leads by example.”

Clark can do it all on the ice according to Martucci.

“She’s a great back checker and forechecker, passer, scorer, and is excellent on power plays,” said Martucci. “She has a good shot and good hands and outstanding hockey knowledge. She’s going to be one of our All-Scholastic candidates this season.”

Clark understands that her impressive statistics [141 career points and counting] aren’t generating as much attention as other recent big-time English athletes like Jeanette Anderson, P.J. Dorsey, Keandre Stanton, and Ryan Woumn received in their careers.

“I don’t think girls hockey gets as much attention as other sports,” said Clark. “Girls hockey is a relatively new program and it’s not out there as much as basketball or soccer.”

Clark first took the ice at the age of four in the Lynn Youth Hockey Learn-to-Skate Program. She played mostly on boys teams before making her debut with the Lady Bulldogs in the eighth grade.

She’s developed into a gifted all-around hockey player. Asked what her best skill was, she said, “I think I see the ice well and can find my teammates with the puck.”

Clark praises coach Martucci for bringing out the best in her hockey abilities.

“He’s amazing in every aspect,” said Clark. “I couldn’t ask for a better coach.”

Clark is skating on the Lady Bulldogs’ top line with Hannah LoPresti and Chelsey Bartlett, who attends Lynn Classical.

Bartlett, a senior and an assistant captain, said there’s no inter-school rivalry with English’s Clark. In fact, the two friends share a long-time association in athletics, beginning in Lynn Youth Hockey and continuing in the North Shore Vipers girls hockey program.

“It hasn’t made much of a difference,” said Bartlett. “Even though we go to different schools, once we’re on the ice together, we’re teammates and like a family. I’ve known Mackenzie my whole life. We’ve been playing hockey together since Mites.”

Also a captain and center midfielder for the Lynn English soccer team, Clark hopes to play hockey in college, citing UMass/Boston as the likely next stop in her career.

But there’s still plenty of high school hockey to be played for the future Hall of Famer. Last season Clark and Company, with goaltending phenom Katie Burt of Lynn minding the net, nearly advanced to the championship game, losing in overtime to Hingham in the state semifinals.

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